A classic spring soccer game night was the scene for #4 Papillion-La Vista South and #9 Millard West. As warmups progressed, the temperature stayed relatively mild giving spectators false hope that the evening would be the same. As the action picked up on the field, the temperature plummeted. Ah spring time Nebraska soccer, what a concept.
The play on the field made the coldness forgettable for large portions of the game. This was a hard fought, intense, and exciting match from beginning to end. The importance of this game could be observed as coaches, players, and spectators embraced their respective roles throughout the game.
Papillon-La Vista South began the game incredibly focused and effective. Their shape, movement, fight, and communication gave them an edge for the first half of the game. A 3-0 halftime lead for the Titans demonstrated their control over the first half of the game. Millard West did have their opportunities and bright spots during that time period, but none were converted.
However, if anyone expected the game to be over at that point then they truly do not understand this Wildcat program nor have they much knowledge of Coach Tevis-Butler. The Wildcats took the halftime break to regroup resulting in a much more balanced second half. Two Millard West goals early in the second half created some much needed drama. 3-2 would be the closest the young Wildcats would get in this match.
Coach Watson and his players responded to this adversity in a true demonstration of composure and experience. Mia Lang, Dylann Ehegartner, Allie Napora, and Laina Souerdyke took control and put the game away for the Titans.
Two wonderful free kick conversions, as well as two noteworthy finishes, highlighted the night.
Game Result – Papillon-La Vista South 5 Millard West 2
Woman of the Match – Dylann Ehegartner (Central Defender & Drake University commit)
NEST Quick Hits
- Papillion-La Vista South is a legitimate contender for the Class A title this year. They have the necessary mix of top end talent and squad depth. Their playmakers influence the game at every level making it is hard to find a weakness. Perhaps most important, the entire squad plays with a great understanding of the game and their style of play.
- Millard West is a young team with a very bright future. Featured in the Wildcats starting lineup were seven players listed as freshmen or sophomores. These youngsters are growing with every game and the potential is apparent. In particular, Giuliana Gagliolo, Ally Stoneburner, and Alyssa French caught my eye with their play. The pieces are there for Coach Tevis-Butler and the Wildcat program.
- Laina Souerdyke is a name that will become well known within soccer circles in the near future. This sophomore midfielder for Papillion-La Vista South is a natural on the ball. Her dribbling and passing abilities were wonderful to observe. Pair that with a nose for the goal and you have a top player in the state.
- The quality of set pieces this year has been insane. Game after game there seems to be a free kick opportunity that makes everyone go WOW. There were two such moments in this game. If you missed them, go take a look at our twitter thread of the game.
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